Which pool alarm is best?
Having a pool can open your backyard up to a great deal of risk, especially if you have children and pets. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children 4 and younger and the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children 14 and younger, so don’t risk it.
The best pool alarm to keep your backyard safe is the Lifebuoy Pool Alarm System. It has an in-home alarm and can have its settings adjusted from an included app.
What to know before you buy a pool alarm
When shopping for a pool alarm it’s important to triple-check whether your prospective alarm monitors above-ground or in-ground pools or both. If you have an above-ground pool, you also need to consider the shape of your pool’s walls, as you’ll need to mount some alarms to the pool’s wall, which can be difficult on rounded pools.
Pool alarm types
There are three types of pool alarms: wall-and-fence-mounted, pool-mounted and personal immersion.
- Wall-and-fence-mounted alarms are a more traditional alarm to deter would-be intruders rather than prevent accidental drownings.
- Pool-mounted alarms attach to the external or internal wall or are tethered to the pool’s edge. The alarm is triggered when the unit detects various stimuli, such as heavy waves or weighted objects breaking the surface.
- Personal immersion alarms use special tags that you can wear as wristbands or attached to a pet’s collar. When these tags are detected by the base to have entered the pool, the alarm is sounded.
What to look for in a quality pool alarm
A pool alarm’s sensitivity is its most important aspect. Too sensitive will trigger enough false alarms that you may not heed the warning when it matters. Not sensitive enough and it might not detect when your small-breed dog falls in.
As such, the best pool alarms have adjustable sensitivity. With the proper trial-and-error, you can finely tune it to your needs. You can even make tuning a game with your children by having them jump in or toss toys to test the proper sensitivities.
Pool alarm volumes vary, with most sitting around 85 decibels, which is roughly as loud as a kitchen blender in action. The best alarms have adjustable volumes to be sure you’ll hear them without disturbing your neighbors.
There are several situations when range comes into play, such as when you have detectors and alarms separate from each other or if the detector triggers an alarm on your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. In all cases, triple-check that the range on the box is enough, and don’t risk buying an alarm that sits right at the edge of that range.
How much you can expect to spend on a pool alarm
Pool alarms typically cost $75-$300. Simple but no less effective alarms usually cost less than $100, while midrange alarms cap out around $200. The most feature-rich alarms usually start around $200 and can exceed $300.
Pool alarm FAQ
Can I use a pool alarm in a hot tub?
A. You can use most pool alarms in a hot tub without issues. In fact, some pool alarms are even designed to be used in small spaces such as those found in hot tubs. If you’re concerned about whether a prospective item is safe for use in a hot tub, you can contact the manufacturer and ask directly.
Can wind, rain and other minor disturbances set off a pool alarm?
A. Yes, depending on the alarm and the pool. You can reduce the number of false alarms by purchasing better models, especially models with adjustable sensitivity. It’s important to know that all pool alarms are going to have false alarms from time to time, no matter how finely tuned the sensitivity is.
How much weight does it take to set off a pool alarm?
A. That depends on the alarm and how sensitive you have your alarm set to be if it offers adjustable sensitivity. That said, most pool alarms have sensitivities that will trigger when something weighing 15 to 20 pounds enters the pool.
What’s the best pool alarm to buy?
Top pool alarm
What you need to know: It’s packed with technology.
What you’ll love: It uses two units, one that stays in the pool for detection and an alarm unit for inside the home. The included smartphone app connects via Bluetooth and can monitor the battery levels and connection strengths of your units in addition to changing various settings.
What you should consider: Its sensitivity is high enough to trigger occasionally from strong wind and rain. It must be sent to the manufacturer to replace the battery.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top pool alarm for the money
What you need to know: This is a great choice and isn’t too expensive.
What you’ll love: There’s no complex installation. It just needs to be turned on and dropped into the pool. It includes an in-house alarm receiver, so you never miss an alert. You can adjust its sensitivity levels to trigger fewer false alarms.
What you should consider: It only works effectively in small pools, although you can buy multiple units to cover larger pools. Some customers found it to be a little too sensitive.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a perfect budget alarm for above-ground pools.
What you’ll love: It uses an underwater motion sensor to detect when objects 15 pounds and heavier enter the pool. The alarm is mounted to the side of the pool and emits an 85-decibel siren. It includes all the hardware you need to install it.
What you should consider: Some purchasers had issues with the sensitivity, both in being either too strong or too weak and in adjusting it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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